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Middle East Politics

Egypt inches towards return of militant fans to stadium terraces

James Dorsey | Posted 06.22.2016 | Sports
James Dorsey

By James M. Dorsey Egypt may be inching towards a return to the stands of soccer fans, who played a key role in the 2011 toppling of President Hosni ...

Kuwaiti rulers fight their internal battles on the sports field

James Dorsey | Posted 06.18.2016 | World
James Dorsey

By James M. Dorsey Political infighting within Kuwait's ruling family is about to take a dramatic turn with reports that the Gulf state plans to diss...

Men's Hair Takes Centre Stage in Battle Over Legitimacy of Political Islam

James Dorsey | Posted 06.08.2016 | World
James Dorsey

The Muslim world's battle over the legitimacy of political Islam has expanded to the soccer pitch as proponents and opponents of interpreting the faith politically seek to impose their public morals with men's hairstyles and facial hair taking centre stage.

Putting One's Ear to the Ground: Rumblings of Mounting Discontent

James Dorsey | Posted 05.27.2016 | World
James Dorsey

By James M. Dorsey (Lecture at MEI Conference: The Middle East Peace Process After the Arab Uprisings) When Jeremy Bowen, the BBC's Middle East edit...

'Mosque Alert' in Chicago

Roxane Assaf Lynn | Posted 04.04.2017 | Chicago
Roxane Assaf Lynn

n playwright Jamil Khoury's characteristically ethnographic way, "Mosque Alert" at Silk Road Rising offers a matrix of possibilities, each raising questions and offering contrasting responses.

Jihadist Soccer: Contrary Visions of a Future Syria

James Dorsey | Posted 03.12.2017 | World
James Dorsey

The contrast could hardly be starker. A soccer star-turned-protest leader-turned-jihadist encourages peaceful anti-Bashir al-Assad protests in Syrian rebel-held territory. Nearby, in Islamic State (IS)-controlled territory young boys play soccer with decapitated heads.

Interview: Saudi Arabia and Lebanon Tensions Over Foreign Policy

Halim Shebaya | Posted 03.01.2017 | World
Halim Shebaya

Saudi Arabia decided to halt a 4 billion US dollars grant to the Lebanese Armed Forces and the Internal Security Forces. And Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the UAE have urged their citizens to leave Lebanon or avoid traveling there.

Should Israel Flatten Beirut -- Again?

Halim Shebaya | Posted 02.25.2017 | World
Halim Shebaya

Flattening Beirut has been done before. Flattening Gaza has been done before. And both may be done again if Israel's license to kill with impunity is left unchecked.

February 14 and the Legacy of Violence in Lebanon

Halim Shebaya | Posted 02.12.2017 | World
Halim Shebaya

Eleven years later, as Hariri's Future Movement holds its annual commemoration of the assassination, we should remember that the violence in Lebanon did not start or end on the 14th of February.

Saudi Arabia's Declaration of Independence

Joseph V. Micallef | Posted 01.03.2017 | World
Joseph V. Micallef

The U.S. words of support notwithstanding, the announcement marked the latest move in Saudi Arabia's increasingly assertive and, from Washington's standpoint, independent foreign policy. It is the latest in a series of Saudi moves that underscore a significant foreign policy shift.

Substance and Symbolism in Obama's Foreign Policy

Joseph V. Micallef | Posted 10.24.2016 | World
Joseph V. Micallef

There is a fundamental disconnect between the substance and the symbolism of President Obama's foreign policy. This is not a case of saying one thing and doing another. In the case of the Obama administration it is a case of saying one thing but delivering it in a style and with imagery that belies its authenticity.

Racist Israeli Soccer Fans in the Firing Line

James Dorsey | Posted 10.12.2016 | World
James Dorsey

Israel's most notorious soccer fan group, La Familia, known for its militant racism against Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims, has put itself in the firing line as Israeli-Palestinian confrontations threaten to spark a third Intifada or popular Palestinian uprising on the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip.

Checkmate: Obama's Syrian Disaster

Joseph V. Micallef | Posted 10.10.2016 | World
Joseph V. Micallef

The United States now finds itself in a difficult position in Syria. American supported rebels are coming under direct attack by Russian military forces. If the U.S. challenges Russian planes it risks a potential escalation and a military incident between American and Russian forces.

Protesters in Lebanon and Iraq Defy Sectarian Differences, Unite Against Government Policies

Conor McCormick-Cavanagh | Posted 09.01.2016 | World
Conor McCormick-Cavanagh

The current protests in both Lebanon and Iraq indicate that the era of sectarian conflict is potentially taking a backseat for more unified nationalistic demonstrations.

The Middle East: Who Says Popular Quest for Change has Been Quelled?

James Dorsey | Posted 08.28.2016 | World
James Dorsey

A series of recent mass protests in several Arab countries have called into question suggestions that civil wars, brutal crackdowns and military coups and interventions have quelled popular willingness to stand up for rights in the Middle East.

A Turkish Stadium Harbors a Stark Message for Multiculturalism

James Dorsey | Posted 08.16.2016 | World
James Dorsey

A condemned Turkish stadium harbours a dark warning of the long-term consequences of ethnic cleansing or what Turks euphemistically call the population exchange almost a century ago when Turkey and Greece expelled their respective Greek and Turkish minorities.

The Iran Deal: Israel, the U.S. and the Middle East

Dr. Josef Olmert | Posted 07.14.2016 | World
Dr. Josef Olmert

They are visibly happy in Tehran and they are visibly very unhappy in Jerusalem. If pictures and body language are indicators of actual diplomacy, then the images project a great Iranian victory and consequently a great Israeli defeat.

A Campaign in Saudi Arabia Challenges Young People to Rethink Their Biases

Joseph Braude | Posted 06.13.2016 | World
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Joseph Braude

A three-minute video, posted by a Saudi government-backed organization to YouTube on June 4, has garnered 150,000 views in 48 hours and sparked a discussion in the kingdom about how to stem sectarian conflict.

It's the Anniversary of the Invasion of Iraq. Where's the Accountability?

Jodie Evans | Posted 05.23.2015 | Politics
Jodie Evans

Who has been held responsible for these lies that have destroyed a country, and destabilized the Middle East? Recently, President Obama admitted it was our invasion of Iraq that led to the creation of ISIL. Where is the accountability?

Soccer Riots Reflect Long-Standing Discontent in Iran's Predominantly Arab Khuzestan

James Dorsey | Posted 05.21.2015 | World
James Dorsey

Iran's crackdown earlier this month on the protesting soccer fans was as much in line with its intolerance toward expressions of anti-government sentiment as it was a response to references to Ahwaz in Saudi media as Arab territory.

Yemen's Houthis -- America's New Proxies?

Dr. Richard Chasdi | Posted 03.29.2015 | World
Dr. Richard Chasdi

The Obama administration had better rank its national security interests and rank them quickly.

Can the Middle East Be Fixed?

Sam Sasan Shoamanesh | Posted 02.27.2015 | World
Sam Sasan Shoamanesh

The Middle East is one of the world's most strategically significant regions. Stunningly, perhaps, the region does not yet have in place the necessary institutions and mechanisms to discuss and manage, and to prevent and respond to crises. Strategic and visionary leadership is required to reverse the state of the region.

Samantha Lachman

Hillary Clinton Gratifies A Major Donor In Israel-Centric Conversation

HuffingtonPost.com | Samantha Lachman | Posted 12.15.2014 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented herself as both a staunch defender of Israel’s security and a supporter of continu...

Qatar's Hosting of GCC Summit in Further Jeopardy Following Gulf States' Handball Boycott

James Dorsey | Posted 01.13.2015 | World
James Dorsey

Kuwaiti emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah travelled to Doha last week for talks with his Qatari counterpart, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, in a failed bid to mediate between the feuding Gulf states. Sheikh Tamim has also met several times with Saudi King Abdullah.

Kurdish Soccer Team Sparks Swedish FA Ire Over Battle for Kobani, Sparks Debate on What Is Politics?

James Dorsey | Posted 12.29.2014 | World
James Dorsey

The dispute over the nature of Dalkurd's support for Kobani raises the question of what the border line is, if there is one, between humanitarian and political aid to groups in distress as a result of conflict as well as the double standards applied by some Western nations.